Cherry announced its new Viola switches at CES 2020 that is quite the departure from its other switches. The company is known for its MX colour-coded switches commonly associated with the gaming market. The Viola, on the other hand, is a switch that’s supposed to make mechanical keyboards more affordable.
The Cherry Viola switches makes use of a new design that, according to TechCrunch, moves some of the complexity into the circuitboard of the keyboard itself. This allows the switches to be hotswappable if something goes wrong with an individual switch. The cross-stem for attaching keycaps are still there, allowing keyboard makers to reuse existing designs.
In terms of numbers, AnandTech says the Cherry Viola closely resembles the Cherry MX Red. it has the same actuation point of 2mm, total travel distance of 4mm, and 45cN of actuation force. The company intends to make other variants like the MX series has, but will not be reusing those colour codes.
Cherry is also not putting a guarantee to the number of keystrokes the Viola can take for now. This could change in the future. This is in contrast with its MX line of switches, which had a 50 million keystroke guarantee. The company has since increased that number to 100 million.
The company has yet to reveal the cost of the Cherry Viola switch, but it claims that it expects it to kill rubber dome switches. That sounds very affordable, but we’ll have to see if keyboards using them will have prices that reflect that when they show up in the market.